Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Reasonable atheism (4): two quotations

I don't know who said this (it came to me via Matt Kundert on the MoQ list) but I think it is excellent:

"The 'third rate' critic attacks the original thinker on the basis of the rhetorical consequences of his thought and defends the status quo against the corrupting effects of the philosopher's rhetoric. 'Second rate' critics defend the same received wisdom by semantic analyses of the thinker which highlight ambiguities and vagueness in his terms and arguments. But 'first rate' critics "delight in the originality of those they criticise...; they attack an optimal version of the philosopher's position--one in which the holes in the argument have been plugged or politely ignored."

The second one, inevitably, is from Wittgenstein:

"Even to have expressed a false thought boldly and clearly is already to have gained a great deal."

That's what I'm aiming for - to express thoughts boldly and clearly, and invite first-rate critical responses.

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